Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is something all photographers need to know from the beginning! To follow the Rule of Thirds, imagine that every image is divided into 9 equal parts; 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines creating a tic-tac-toe pattern. When you are taking a picture, position the most important subject in your scene to where the points intersect on the grid.

As you do this, your images will be more balanced and pleasing to look at. In the picture above, the lighthouse is perfectly lined up with the intersecting points. This follows the Rule of Thirds, and as a result, is more pleasing to the eye. The first picture below, however, is not:

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In the first image, the subject is in the middle of the frame. It doesn’t follow the Rule of Thirds, making it is less interesting to look at. As for the second image, the subject is following the Rule of Thirds and looks more natural.  Do you notice how when you look at the second picture, your eyes have an easier time wandering from the subject to the background? This is why the Rule of Thirds is so important; the image is easier to look at and comprehend.


If you’ve taken a great picture, but the subject isn’t following the Rule of Thirds, you can alter the image in Photoshop. Open the image, followed by the crop tool, which contains the Rule of Thirds grid. Place the crop on the picture and adjust it until the subject is on the intersecting lines. To apply the cropping to the image, just double click, and you’re able to save!

Camera Helps

If you’re having a hard time imagining the grid as you shoot, don’t fret. Most cameras can place a grid through the viewfinder or LCD screen. Because each camera and its settings are different, the best way to find out how to create the grid on your camera is to look in your instruction manual.


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